US swimmer Michael Phelps ends career with 18th gold medal


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The Independent Online

The Olympic swimming programme came to an end tonight with Michael Phelps bowing out with the 18th gold medal of a career few are ever likely to match.

It also concluded what has been a disappointing meet for the host nation who finished with two bronze medals for Rebecca Adlington and a silver for Michael Jamieson in the 200 metres breaststroke in a performance that promises a great future.

There was a fourth place on the final evening for the men's 4x100m medley relay, fifth for Fran Halsall in the 50m freestyle and eighth-place finishes for the women's medley relay and Daniel Fogg in the 1,500m freestyle.

For Halsall the meet has fallen way short of what she had hoped for.

Seen as a possible medal contender in more than one event, the 22-year-old came away with nothing.

Instead there were two fifth-place finishes, sixth in the 100m freestyle, after which she was desolate, as well as eighth.

The Loughborough ITC swimmer missed the podium by eight one hundredths of a second tonight in 24.47 seconds.

Afterwards the Southport-born swimmer was in tears as she reflected on her campaign.

She said: "All I can say is that the crowd has been amazing. The support I have had this week has been incredible. It is just me who hasn't been incredible.

"Things are sent to try you and it really has tried me. I couldn't have tried anymore. I gave it my absolute all. It's just what I wanted.

"I think it's pretty hard to talk about it now because it's still so raw and I haven't processed it all now."

Of tonight's final, she sobbed: "I can't really put it in to words. I'm sorry. I'm just emotional. I'm sorry.

"I am going to have a holiday and a drink! I can't say much more. "It's so raw. I'm going to go to a foreign island.

"The support has been amazing.

"It just feels like a kick in the b******s."